It seems hardly the blink of an eye ago that I last had to upgrade WordPress and then 3.6 was upon me. It is wonderful that the software is actively developed, to improve it and to fix problems that are spotted but the automatic update process never works for me. This time though, I took the time to read through the appropriate page on the Codex and I think I have discovered why: the user account under which my files are uploaded to my website is different from the one the web server runs as and I don’t have the ability to assign the files to the web server’s group. Ho-hum, manual upgrade it is then.
The most important part of the process is the backup. I have a local copy of the files, which are covered by Git version control but it is also wise to grab a copy of the current state of the database. Then I can prepare my local files by bringing across the changed ones from the new version of WordPress, turn off plugins on the live site and fire the files via FTP across to the server. Once done, the site needs a quick check (including a minor database tweak it can perform on itself) and then I can turn the plugins back on.
It would be easier if I could just press a single button but at least the manual process isn’t too arduous. Just as well… I now have to do the same on the church website!